Golden Visa system in a bind

Greece's Golden Visa program, offering five-year residence permits to non-European Union citizens who invest at least 250,000 euros in local property, appears to have become a victim of its own success.

Professionals who cooperate daily with investors from abroad report that "the system has reached its limits, if not exceeded them," with the Piraeus department of the Decentralized Authority of Attica - the state's administrative tier above the Regional Authority - having stopped accepting applications by investors, forcing them to look to other authorities.

"About a week ago we applied for an appointment for a customer of ours, but to our surprise the response was negative, as the office is unable to serve investors at all, not even in one or two years' time," says Alexandros Risvas, head of the Risvas & Partners law firm, which is an active member of the Swiss-based...

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